We rely on volunteers to run our coding club. If you are in the Nelson area and have knowledge in any areas of computer programming (even just a little, you don’t have to be whizz!) and are free on Wednesday evenings we would love to have your help!
We are open to your ideas!
As a volunteer mentor you can choose to assist in running our existing sessions or run your own session in any computing topic that you feel would be suitable for kids.
If you would like to get involved, please get in touch:
Start up your own CoderDojo Code Club
No CoderDojo in your area? Why not start one yourself? Dojos are started by individuals all around the world who are passionate about giving young people the opportunity to learn to code. Starting a Dojo is a fun and incredibly rewarding experience. You do not need to possess technical skills to start a Dojo, the most important attribute you should have is that you can bring people together for a shared goal. CoderDojo Nelson will be happy to give advise & assistance in setting up a new Dojo. Here are some of the principle steps involved in starting a new Dojo:
- Get some helpers
First step might be to find a few like minded volunteers to help you set up and run (although it may be possible to start a small CoderDojo on your own). When starting CoderDojo Nelson, I started by contacting some colleagues in the same business as myself (web development) and found enough people to help me get started. Since then we’ve had other volunteers come on board who got in touch by social media and word of mouth.
- Find a location
You will find that there are usually no shortage of options – schools, colleges, technical institutes, business offices, libraries, community centres, etc. The main thing you will need is a warm, dry space with internet access. When setting up CoderDojo Nelson we found that our local 3rd level education institute, NMIT, was more that happy to get on board with the CoderDojo idea and provide a space for our Dojo. We now have 2 computer labs and a regular classroom available for us to use, so our club members don’t even need to bring their own computers (although some of them do if they are in our micro-controllers and computing group)
- Decide on what topics to cover
This will depend to some extent on the knowledge of your volunteers but even with very limited technical knowledge there are plenty of topics you can cover as there are lot of very good online learning resources available. At our Nelson Dojo Scratch (a drag & drop block coding language) has been very popular with our kids and has worked out very well. There are some great online resources for learning Scratch such as Google CS First and Code Club course materials. We also have found that Code.org (which also uses drag & drop block coding) is a good initial starting point for covering the basic concepts of programming and is pretty much self-guided. You can introduce new topics as volunteers with different skill sets come on board.
- Plan a start date/time and put the word out
At Nelson CoderDojo the main ways we use to put the word out are – announcements in local school newsletters and social media (particularly Facebook groups that highlight things to do in the local area).